NewsOmicron is here. Panic or Carry on?
Omicron is here. Panic or Carry on?

Omicron is here. Panic or Carry on?

Last week a new variant of Covid was identified by South African scientists and subsequently detected in many locations around the world. How should societies respond? Panic and lockdown or carry on the path we were on before the variant emerged?

When Covid first emerged in early 2020 we knew nothing about it; how dangerous it would be how fast it would spread. At the time Governments around the world reacted varyingly between caution and panic to address the threat. Arguably, all those varying responses might have been valid at the time given how little we knew about the virus.

But now we know so much more about covid. We have an arsenal of vaccines, treatments, data, medical capacity, protections, experience, legislation, IT platforms and learned behaviours in how to deal with it. We know more about covid than any other virus, ever, on the planet. While omicron may turn out to be more transmissible, there is no evidence that it is more dangerous.

In previous pandemics such as the 1968 H3N2 virus, 1957 H2N2 (Hong Kong) flu or the 1918 H1N1 (Spanish) flu we had much less knowledge. The viruses raged through societies around the world with a huge loss of life until herd immunity was established. Covid ranks 6th in terms of lives lost, coming in below HIV/AIDS and the 1918 flu in modern times. Pandemics were seen as an act of God that ran their course and were ultimately forgotten. The detailed knowledge we have now has helped us save tens of millions of lives but has also made societies more fearful as we articulate the threat and sometimes even engage in panicky conspiracy theories.

In times of crisis, we reasonably expect our leaders and Governments to lead. None of us want sugar-coated versions of reality but we also expect our leaders to step up, address problems and communicate to citizens and consumers clearly and honestly. The knee jerk reactions we have seen around the world this week by Governments returning to lockdown and restricting travel hark back to the attempts to reach zero-covid we saw earlier in the year.

Human societies will always face crises: financial crises, wars, pandemics and now climate change. Crises that impact our lives will sadly never end. All that we can do as citizens and consumers is choose leaders who respond competently to them.

What do you think? Are Governments panicking or just being appropriately cautious? Are our leaders calmly solving the pandemic problems or lacking courage and being fearful in their actions? Leave your comments below.

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Someone from MO commented:

The European governments as usual have scapegoated African countries for a mutation which began in Europe. This world is full of hypocrites and spineless humans who are afraid to think for themselves. I cry for the future generations, the governments elected by the people have no interest in the public who voted them in power. 

Someone from LK commented:

We’ve had a belly full of this nonsense now.. everyone needs to stop living in fear and get on with their lives. There’s a lot more to life than living in fear of these so called new scarients, get a grip people! 

Someone from MH commented:

Carry on covid is not going any were soon 

Michael from D commented:

Gov. priority is save the health service, and an eye on political support. On balance present gov. is trying to do the right thing but with an eye on political on implications of decisions. Overall would consider a reasonable response. 

Someone from C commented:

Its more unscientific nonsense and fear mongering, the doctors on the ground have said its mild and that is normal with variants when the virus is endemic and not pandemic. The vaccine was supposed to give us immunity, but it doesnt and also enables the same level of transmissability as in an unvaccinated person. And they now admit this and admit its effectiveness wanes after 3 months, thus requring boosters forever. So its not a vaccine by definition and its a failure. But lets be more clear lockdowns have destroyed our economy, our mental health, our businesses, and cases have continued to rise and people die with both lockdowns and masks. So all their policies are now proven unscientific failures, why should we trust them, or listen to them ever? They are corrupt and dishonest. 

ELAINE from C commented:

Protect the vulnerable not the consumer 

Someone from LK commented:

Never panic even if all around you is falling asunder. Carry on doing what got you this far without contracting covid and if you've had it well improve on those basic techniques. Stay true to yourself. Governments are the last people I listen to. Their tract record so far is in my view a 3 out of10. Stay safe. 

Someone from C commented:

The bought and paid for puppet politicians of the Central Banks and the mega corporations they have acquired majority shareholder ownership through the Federal Reserve Bank of New York’s front companies Blackrock and Vanguard (investment management companies) are laughing at us as the new “OMICRON” fully programmable Central Bank Digital Currency COVID Scariant justification is an anagram of MORONIC.. The Central Bankers are literally laughing in the face of anyone who promotes their totalitarian COVID fear control porn! 

Breandan from D commented:

In a strange way I almost feel sorry for political leaders, they are damned if they do, or don't. Half a lockdown seems like a hit and hope strategy. Good analysis from you. Thanks. Le dea ghui Breandan O'Broin 

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